Unlike other animals, hedgehogs do not groom themselves. In the wild, they use dry objects to rub themselves and get clean. They are generally clean animals and do not need a regular bath. Therefore, an occasional bath is enough to maintain your pet’s hygiene.
Bathing helps to keep your pet clean. It will remove all the dirt and smell and brighten up your pet. It’s also great way to keep your pet cool during summers.
How Often Should You Bathe Hedgehogs?
Hedgehogs should not be bathed more than once per month, sometimes they do not need a bath even after a month.
An occasional bath may be necessary if they have rolled in something unpleasant. Hedgehogs like to play with smelly objects and can get messy with their droppings. If your pet gets dirty often you can bathe it up to twice a month.
It is not recommended to bathe more than twice a month. Frequent bathing is not good for the health and skin of hedgehogs.
Best Place to Bathe a Hedgehog
Most Hedgehogs like to be in the water and sometimes relieve themselves during the bath, this is normal and won’t harm them. So the best option is a laundry sink or a tub that can be cleaned easily.
You can and should disinfect the sink after the bath.
Some Good Options to Bathe Hedgehogs
1. Soap or Shampoo Bath
You can add mild soap or shampoo in bath water for a thorough cleaning. Any type of pet shampoo is okay for the hedgehogs. Many people use different brands of baby shampoos or therapeutic shampoos for added benefits.
You just need to be careful so that the soap does not reach the nose, eyes, or ear of the hedgehog as it can irritate.
2. Homemade Oatmeal Bath
Oatmeal bath is great DIY for dry skin. It’s as good for hedgehogs as it is for humans. You’ll need to soak raw oatmeal overnight.
Just put the oats in a sock and keep them in a bowl filled with water. Just before you are ready to bathe your pet, squeeze the sock to get a milky liquid.
Add it to your hedgehog’s bath water and use it to give a it moisturizing bath.
3. Oil bath
Hedgehogs tend to get dry skin after bathing, especially in winter. So it is advised to do an oil bath after washing them with soap. For an oil bath, you can use olive oil, almond oil, or coconut oil.
The method is very simple. You need to add a few drops of oil to the water and pour this water over the entire body except the face and eyes after you are done cleaning. Oil will sufficiently protect their skin from irritation.
Most of the time hedgehogs only get their feet dirty from their droppings. In this case, instead of going through the process of washing their entire body, which is unnecessary when they’re merely sporting dirty feet, a quick foot bath will suffice.
How to Bathe a Hedgehog
As a pet owner, you want to give your hedgehog the best care possible. Bathing your hedgehog can be tricky because they are sensitive creatures and the quills are not easy to clean.
Here is a simple and easy method to bath your hedgehog:
Supplies you’ll need:
- Warm Water: You’ll need slightly warm water to fill the sink.
- Baby Shampoo/ Pet Shampoo: It’s best to use a mild moisturizing shampoo. Baby shampoo is safe in case it gets to the eyes of your pet. Many pet owners also use a tea-tree shampoo for a relaxing bath.
- Non-slip mat: You should use a mat for the hedgehog to stand in the water, It acts as comfortable support. You can also use a clean washcloth for this purpose.
- Toothbrush: A soft bristle toothbrush is required to clean the spines of the pet. The brush provides easy access and completely cleans the quills.
- Soft Towel: Always use a soft towel to dry the hedgehog after a bath. It’s important to dry them completely. Never blow-dry as it can cause them to become overheated.
- Fill the sink with warm water enough to half submerge your pet. Place the mat in water to provide a comfortable place to stand.
- Put your pet into the sink and let it fidget in the water for a while. Give it time to know the surroundings and get relaxed.
- Pour a dime-size amount of shampoo into your palm and rub to lather. Use a soft toothbrush to rub it onto the body of the hedgehog. Gently apply it to the belly, back, feet and head. Avoid the face and eyes of the pet.
- Gently scrub the quills with a toothbrush. Also, scrub the foot to remove any stubborn poop. Repeat the process after 2-5 minutes as the dirt and poop will soften by then. Only clean in the direction of spines to avoid hurting the animal.
- Now take a cup of warm water and pour it over. Keep brushing the places you still think are dirty, and pour water until your pet is clean.
- Remove the pet from the sink and wrap it up into a soft towel, gently dry the body.
- You can also give them a dry towel to snuggle and keep warm. As hedgehogs are temperature sensitive, it’s important to keep them warm after a bath.
Nails get softer after the bath, it’s the best time to cut the nails of your hedgehog. Hold your hedge’s paw in one hand and use a baby fingernail clipper to trim the nails only.
Hedgehogs have clear nails so it’s easy to cut only nail tissue. Still, be careful to avoid hurting the quick.
Key things to remember:
- Do not leave your Hedgehog unattended while bathing.
- Hedgehogs should have baths in the morning hours so that their body temperature doesn’t spike too high while sleeping.
- Clean their cage before bathing so you don’t leave your pet in the cold while you clean the cage. It also not a good idea to put your clean pet into a dirty cage.
- Only use a clean toothbrush as some chemicals in cleaners are harsh for the skin of the hedgehogs.
- If you have many pets, bathe only one hedgehog at a time. They can hurt each other while bathing.